Software Freedom Day at SSN College of Engineering

A one day workshop was conducted under the auspices of the SSN Student Chapter of IEEE by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in association with SSN LUG on September 19, 2009 in commemoration of Software Freedom Day. Students in junior years from B.E, M.E. and MCA were exposed to Free and Open Source Software(FOSS).

Sri Ramadoss Mahalingam, associate at NRCFOSS, AU-KBC introduced the participants to the realm of open source software.  He elucidated on the history of computer software, and why Richard Stallman started the movement in the early 80s.

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Mr. Ramadoss talking about the Free Software Movement

The participants eagerly listened to his talk, and raised quite a few doubts. The talk illuminated those present about the need to shun proprietary software, and adopt free software.  The students were all ears as he spoke about how Stallman initiated a revolution in the software industry, that will only grow as SaaS becomes the primary model of business.

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Students are all ears as he talks about Stallman’s crusade against restrictive software licences

After breaking for tea, the participants returned to witness a demonstration of a Linux installation procedure.

Srikanth (logic on Twitter), SSN alumnus guided the attendees through the installation of Linux. Salvadesswaran, student coordinator then helped them to get a feel of the system, and the applications they’ll use on their systems. Mr. Ramadoss also demonstrated the use of Indic language tools available in Linux.

Thana Shyam, SSN alumnus and founder of JargonHandlers.com taught them the rudiments of LAMP, and how to create applications using PHP and MySQL.

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Mr. Thana Shyam of  jargonhandlers.com teaches about basic PHP programming

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Students try to create databases using PHPMyAdmin

Our sincere thanks to Mr. V. Balasubramanian and Mr. D. Venkata Vara Prasad, Assistant Professors, Dept. of CSE, SSN CE for organising this event and exposing the juniors to the domain of FOSS. We are also grateful to SSN-LUG and the SSN Student Chapter of IEEE for aiding us in the smooth conduct of the event.

Linux Lingo @ SRM

An event named Linux Lingo was organised today as a part of SRM University’s tech fest, Aarush 2009. Myself and Mr. Ramadoss from NRCFOSS, Fedora Ambassasador conducted the event. Ramadoss introduced the students to the philosophy of free software and Stallman’s crusade against the imposition of proprietary software. He delved into the GNU philosophy and gave several examples to emphasise the concept.

He then talked about the open source community following which we demonstrated a Fedora 11 installation. We got a volunteer to install the operating system. The audience had several doubts about the install process, and we resolved them. For the fun of it we tried to install in Hindi once, but reverted to English finally.

After the demonstration, I spoke about the software available in Fedora, and then about a few basic command line utilities. It was followed by a talk on bash scripting.

The day ended with our answering a few questions from the students about open source, real IT revolution and choice of software. Over a hundred students participated in the event and were introduced to the free software movement. We thank the coordinators of the event, Shiv Deepak, Vipul Jain, Anisha Kaul and Prakhar Agarwal for the enthusiasm they showed in organising this event.